The 15-Minute Trick to Boosting Your Memory & Being More Productive
From day to day, it can be difficult to remember everything that's required of you. I tend to forget exactly where it is I'm supposed to be during my busiest moments, and it's even easier to delete each day's events out of your brain when there's so much else that dominates your mind.
Yet taking the time to remember exactly what it is that happens during each of our days can be a vital part of our memory—and with nothing more than 15 minutes, we can strengthen our brains and remember more than ever.
According to research conducted by Harvard Business School professor Francesca Gino, those who take the time to take in each day are more successful, memory-wise. The time you spend reflecting on and processing all that occurred throughout the day helps you to become a better worker, and also improves memory.
Over the course of the research study, participants were asked to either reflect on their day when their shift ended, or to continue along as they normally would. Those who needed the 15 minutes to journal about their activities were also relieved from their job earlier.
After 10 days, the results of the study and its research showed that those who reflected on their workday at the end of their shift at the call center performed nearly 29 percent better than those who did otherwise.
Those few minutes at the end of the day can make you a better employee, too, according to Gino. "When people have the opportunity to reflect, they experience a boost in self-efficacy," she states in an interview with Business Insider. "They feel more confident that they can achieve things. As a result, they put more effort into what they're doing and what they learn."
When we spend time to consider and write about our days, whether it's a few minutes or 15 as the research study suggests, we essentially write down the data from our work. We undergo stress, tackle projects, and accomplish tasks, and when our day is complete, we need to process all of this. Once we write down what it is that we experienced, we are better able to examine our path and improve upon it.
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It's important to take the extra step and write down our reflections, thoughts, feelings, and even details regarding work because it helps us to recognize and understand the effects of our life experiences.
Whether you choose to physically write down all that occurred, or simply make a bullet-pointed list of the biggest moments, Gino remarks that the act of reflection is meaningful. By reflecting, we codify all that we have experienced: "It's very easy to deceive yourself if you're just thinking about it," she adds, "but when you write things down on paper, it's easier to identify what's helpful."
No matter how you choose to process what happens over the course of your busy days, take time to jot down some feelings and thoughts. You'll be a better worker thanks to the practice, and you may even work through those tough situations easier and faster.